Viable Move Against Terrorism [editorial]

Terrorism poses a threat to the social and political values that are directly or indirectly related to the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedom. Irrespective of the entity that perpetrates them whether a state or group of individuals, all acts of terrorism seriously impair or impede the enjoyment of human rights, including a range of socio-economic right, such as the right to health, food and housing.

The US continues to show full interest in and commitment to the African Union’s efforts at handling issues of peace and security, economic growth and sustainable economic development as well as fighting terrorism. The visit of President Barrack Obama would be an opportunity to deepen all-round ties between Africa and USA at all levels. Particularly, aside from their strong socio-economic cooperation between Ethiopia and United States, they appear committed to fostering closer cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism. The evolving dynamic and constructive relationship between the two countries have created an opportunity to cooperate on a wide rage of issues including the fight against terrorism.

It is true that the fight against terrorism and its causes is viewed as a collective effort on the part of all members of the international community. Ethiopia’s strong desire for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa is central to all its regional policies. Peaceful neighbours are good trade partners and regional stability enables a country to focus resources on addressing poverty and the development of good governance and the democratic developmental state. Ethiopia is also actively participating in the peace and stability of the region.

It is evidently clear now that the prolonged crisis in Somalia attracts criminal and extremist elements. Terrorist operatives in Somalia are presenting a clear and prsent danger to the region, to the African continent as a whole and to the international community. Thanks to our great forces and intelligence, however, Ethiopia now is the safest country given the territorial dangers surrounding by turbulent neighbours such as, Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan and lately Kenya. However, available information indicate that Ethiopia has been targeted by local and regional terrorist groups. Terrorist organizations namely the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ginbot 7, al-Qaeda and the al-Qaeda-linked Somali Islamic militants al-Shabaab pose threats to Ethiopia but also to the region and the international community as whole.

The violence in Somalia and the ensuing humanitarian crisis show no signs of abating. These situations demand an urgent and robust response by international community. It is imperative that a successful counter-terrorism campaign requires more engagement of international actors such as USA.

Ultimately, the threat of terrorism in part of the world such as Somalia can only be addressed through the strengthening stable, legitimate and functional government. Dealing with that threat requires Somalia’s friends to do more to assist in bringing Somali society together again and rebuilding the state. To this end, more efforts should be exerted to improve coordination and cooperation. Main players in Somalia’s peace efforts need to find out ways to combat and get issues related instability and terrorism dried.

Ethiopia is committed to help bring peace and stability to Somalia through national reconciliation processes as well as military assistance. The US efforts to co-ordinate the international community’s support for peace and reconciliation in Somalia and underlined the need for the international community to remain actively engaged.

The visit of the President is adjacent to this is a parallel commitment to peace and security in the region. It is obviously clear that Ethiopia’s priority is to continue its fight against poverty. Friends are expected to stand by the Ethiopian government to achieve its goals of development, democracy and good governance. The cooperation and solidity of peace loving nation countries like USA is helpful to avert the threats of terrorism which impedes progress and development.